UPDATE: This story was updated on March 16 after officials announced that all aboard the helicopter were killed.
Seven U.S. troops were killed on Thursday when their Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq, U.S. officials said.
It was not immediately clear on Friday which military branches the troops onboard were from. The names of the troops killed have not been released pending next of kin notification, according to the task force in charge of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. “This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations. We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today.”
There were no indications that the helicopter was downed by enemy fire, the task force said in a Friday news release. A quick reaction force of Iraqi and coalition troops secured the crash site.
A non-profit charity for the families of rescue airmen who are killed and wounded is standing by to provide help to the families of the fallen troops, said Carmina Aguirre, director of operations for That Others May Live Foundation, which offers scholarships to the children of fallen rescue airmen.
The crash happened a day after a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet went down off Florida, killing two aviators. The Defense Department has not yet released the names of those killed.